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How to Get Your iPhone Stolen

Jun 29, 20075 mins
DLP Software

The hottest new consumer accessory, iPhones are an obvious target for pickpockets and shoplifters

Here’s something you might not know about risk

size matters.

Manufacturers can tell you, for example, how the relationship between the size of a product and its value affects the chances it will be stolen. They can tell you that the most expensive thing in the store is not the most pilfered. In fact, it’s the most expensive small thing in the store that’s stuffed under coats most often. Small things are easier to conceal, making it a less risky crime. And even as a small thing’s value rises, the risk of taking it doesn’t, making it a more appealing crime. The manufacturers and retailers understand the relationship with an almost eerie precision.

Ask Walgreens about Gillette razors. Tiny box, 10 bucks. Ask Macy’s about MAC makeup. Little compact. Lot of money.

This is why companies like those spend tens of millions of dollars on packaging design, point-of-sale display security and electronics like radio tags. Gillette once even tried to spy on shoppers with cameras and RFIDs just to prevent what retailers ickily refer to as product leakage.

And this is why I can write Monday’s news for you now: iPhones are going to get stolen. The iPhone debuts June 29, accompanied by a sad and unhealthy amount of hype. (“Hey, John, did you hear about what happened in Iraq? Yeah, lookit, I read it using the wicked cool browser on my awesome new iPhone!”) That means by Monday, Tuesday at the latest, mark my words, some major newspaper will write the story about how many iPhones are being stolen.

The New York Times headline will read “iPhones Popular with the Kids, and the Thieves, Too.” The New York Post will have a close-up shot of one in a greasy hand on the subway with the headline: “iGot Your iPhone!” Cable news will have talking heads under the banner iPhone Crisis and Anderson will be saying: “Do you really believe that iPhone theft is tightly linked to the left’s gay marriage conspiracy, Ann?”

Anyway, don’t say I didn’t warn you. iPhones have all the elements of a good theft spree. They are expensive, small, in demand and in reasonably short supply. They are beautiful, valuable (remember to add the value of the 1,800 songs, contacts and, if you’re shopping with them, personal information stored in them) and, of course, crucial to the success of the gay-marriage conspiracy. These things are hot!

With all that in mind, I thought, why wait to find out, in some violent surprising way, how your iPhone will get stolen? I can expedite the process for you with some easy-to-follow advice that will guarantee your precious new gadget will go missing, at the latest, by the time you hit the clubs Saturday night. Here’s the sure-fire way.

1. Flaunt It. Yes, Jessica, we know you’re very important and that call you’re making is something we all need to hear about. Keep flashing the phone and declaring to the person on the other end that you can’t fly out that day because your new iPhone planner says you’ve got a tee time for that morning. Do this especially in a crowded public place like the park or a plaza. I’m sure you won’t mind breaking a Manolo heel when you have to try and chase down the kid who runs by you and pulls off this era’s version of a purse-snatching.

2. Leave It in Sight in Your Locked, Alarm-Activated Car. Why tuck that new phone away in the lockable glove box when you’ve got the bloop-doop dongle that locks your fancy car and sets off the alarm if someone tries to break in? Just drop it there on the passenger seat on top of the newspaper and the box of dry cleaning. The car alarm is an effective deterrent to crime; I’m sure John Q. Citizen will respond to your fancy car’s sequence of siren pleas for help after that kid smashes the window, grabs the iPhone and takes off.

3. Put It on the Table During Your Outdoor Bistro Lunch. How do you convey to the women one table over that you’re a player? Place that iPhone on your table next to the San Pellegrino while you nosh on bread. Don’t worry, the waiter you’ve been abusing and planning to leave a 6 percent tip for won’t pick that up. Neither will the kid walking by on the sidewalkyou know, the one who just snatched Jessica’s iPhone in the park. Whassup ladies?

4. Make Sure to Use the Ear Buds with White Wires. Otherwise, someone might think you’ve got JAPJust Another Phone. With ultra-conspicuous white, all kinds of people will be able to spot your iPhone from a mile away.

5. Leave It with Coat Check. Hey, you aren’t married to work, like those Crackberry addicts! Besides, the boss doesn’t like his minions constantly taking calls or checking e-mail during the strategy dinner. He’ll have your full, undivided attention, and surely the iPhone will still be in the coat after that last glass of port.

6. Take It to the Club. After you buy her a martini but before you dance, make sure you tell her, “I have to take this call,” and throw that thing up to your ear as you turn away. Trust me, women love this. Don’t worry, that pickpocket scanning the room didn’t see it and, anyway, you’d probably notice if he tried to pickpocket on that noisy, crowded dance floor, anyway.

7. Make Sure You Run Out and Buy One This Weekend. This is probably the best time to invest in an iPhone, with prices, demand and its role as status symbol all at their absolute zenith.

Good luck everyone. And if you need any help getting your iPhone stolen, call me on my $29 Samsung t219. It’s charging in my 1999 Saturn, sans alarm, which is unlocked with the windows down.

Regale me with tales of stolen iPhones, or any other thoughts at